It's Modern.: The Eye and Visual Influence of Alexander Liberman

Overview

This gorgeous volume celebrates the creative eye and inspiration of the man who, through his art, photography, design, magazine work, and social life, influenced and changed our visual culture. This visually rich volume presents, for the first time side by side, the commercial work and artwork of Alexander Liberman. Liberman was not only one of the world’s most powerful editorial art directors, he was also a respected photographer, artist, and graphic designer. His personal exploration and relationships through ...

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Overview

This gorgeous volume celebrates the creative eye and inspiration of the man who, through his art, photography, design, magazine work, and social life, influenced and changed our visual culture. This visually rich volume presents, for the first time side by side, the commercial work and artwork of Alexander Liberman. Liberman was not only one of the world’s most powerful editorial art directors, he was also a respected photographer, artist, and graphic designer. His personal exploration and relationships through these mediums shaped his own artistic vision that would alter the relationship of art, design, and fashion forever. In the early ’40s, he became art director of Vogue, and then editorial director for Condé Nast Publications from 1960 to 1994. His transformation of Vogue from a stately publication to the bold and lively publication that it is today forever changed the way women and men viewed fashion and style. It’s Modern is a vibrant volume that pairs Liberman’s professional efforts with his personal artwork and design. This juxtaposition, along with personal archival photographs and texts, artworks, and photographs by iconic friends and collaborators, builds a complete portrait of a genius whose personal life and inspirations were as fascinating as his artwork. With works by Matisse, Beaton, Leibovitz, Newton, Ritts, Brassaï, Parks, Horst, Picasso, Avedon, and Penn, this engaging book is a must for lovers of fashion, art, magazines, graphic design, or photography.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/16/2013
Longtime Conde Nast design director Churchward (Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour) pays homage to magazine guru and artist Alexander Liberman (1912-1999) in this four-color celebration of his revolutionary career and influence in the field of editorial art direction. Opening in Paris where a young Liberman was on staff at the photo journal VU, Churchward sets the stage by reproducing a series of startlingly original cover images from Liberman's tenure in the 1930s. Next, Churchward shifts the narrative to New York with the 1940 letter of recommendation to the legendary publisher Conde Nast written on behalf of Mr. Alexander Liberman that helped to launch of 50-year association with prestigious media company. Dividing chapters by decade, Churchward serves a visual feast of Vogue excerpts from the 1950s through the 1990s with fashion spreads by Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, with portraits by Irving Penn among other notable photographers. Liberman's own artwork is showcased throughout along with photos of him in his studio or behind the scenes at Conde Nast. He famously hired and fired Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, hobnobbed with the Newhouse family after they acquired the company. While Liberman's career is played out mostly in visuals, the text offers tidbits of his personality. Those with an affinity for 20th century art—in both the ‘high and low' sense, as noted by Tina Brown—will be mesmerized by the creative powers of an artist and designer. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"[One of] Fall's Must Haves!" -Town & Country Magazine

“…a richly illustrated new book…celebrates his avid embrace of the 20th century as it unfolded.” -Architectural Digest

“It’s Modern. offers graphic proof of the consistency of his vision, which married iconoclasm of Russian Constructivism with old-world savoir faire and American know-how. It is also a disciple’s affectionate tribute to an elusive master.” -Vogue

"...a stunning paean to the Russian-American polymath..." -Fast Company.design.com

"This lush volume surveys the fascinating life and avant-garde work of the artist and longtime Conde Nast editorial director..." -Detroit Jewish News

"It's Modern. is the sort of visually arresting book you can't digest in one sitting. A terrific celebration of the life of Alexander Liberman...is impressively vast and just plain impressive." -Tory Burch Blog

"It's Modern. a book that should grace the shelves of all of us who appreciate magazines, and moreover, grace itself." -Four Two Nine

“The legendary magazine art director was also a painter and sculptor. It’s Modern explores how this face, and his archives and own fine art work changed mid-century American magazine design.” –National Post
 
“…this lavish book is a lush biography of the legendary Conde Nast editorial director told in two hundred and twenty-five pages of beautiful photographs tracing the multiple facets of Liberman’s life as influential magazine art director, arbiter of contemporary art, and gifted artist…what most recommends this volume is its attention to Liberman’s art…” –THE Magazine
 
“Required reading.” -1st Dibs
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847840717
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 699,209
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Churchward is an accomplished editor, author, art director, and designer.

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